Sky Bet League One preview: Millwall vs. Walsall

© Edmund Boyden
© Edmund Boyden

DAVID Forde will start his first league game since August with Jordan Archer suspended following his red card against Gillingham last weekend.

Millwall have lost three of their last four league games and with a clash against Southend coming less than 48 hours after this fixture Neil Harris could make changes to his side.

Paris Cowan-Hall was recalled from his loan at Bristol Rovers this week and played in the U21s’ 3-1 Premier League Cup win over Wolves on Monday night.

Cowan-Hall and Fred Onyedinma were on target in the victory as Millwall moved into the quarter-finals and both will be in contention to feature for the senior side this weekend.

Harris could also decide to hand Jimmy Abdou his first league start since October 3 to add more defensive solidity to his midfield.

Striker Jamie Philpot, 19, who scored on his only senior appearance for Millwall, is back in training with the squad.

Club captain Tony Craig remains the only long-term injury absentee.

Meanwhile, second-placed Walsall, who have won their last three league games, could welcome back Tom Bradshaw and Rico Henry for their first meeting with the Lions since a 2-2 draw in March, 2010. Bradshaw has scored 12 goals this season but has been out with an ankle injury he picked up against Shrewsbury on December 1.

Sean O’Driscoll, whose last job was as Brendan Rodgers' assistant at Liverpool before he succeeded Dean Smith as Saddlers boss, indicated his displeasure at having to face a long trip south during the busy festive period.

He told the Express & Star: “It’s always a difficult place to go, Millwall. It is a Championship club in all but where they are in the league structure.”

“It would be nice if it was a little bit nearer, I think for everybody. You think Christmas fixture and you think why are you dragging us all the way down to London? I don’t quite get that one.”

Form guide (Last five league fixtures):

Millwall: WLWLL

Walsall: DLWWW

Sky Bet odds:

Millwall 7/5  Draw 5/2  Walsall 7/4

Probable Millwall team:

4-4-2: Forde; Edwards, Webster, Beevers, J Martin; Abdou, Williams, Saville, Ferguson; Morison, O’Brien.

John Kelly